Getting in tune with the times

Jack Matousek, features writer

Christian Baker

A silence settles across the band room as he walks in. He brushes down his shirt and steps onto the ancient wooden step with a deep breath. He raises his hand and the music begins. Almost immediately, he cuts it off with a wave of his hand. Snapping his head to the right of the room, he points at the third tuba to tell him he is out of tune. Josh Johnson, KHS band teacher goes to work every day to help make music while spreading positivity along the way.

Johnson’s original interests were very different from his current career. Although he loved band, he envisioned himself as a politician. Being a band teacher was never the way Johnson saw his life turning out

“I had a [band] director that I really looked up to,” Johnson said. “Somebody who really inspired me daily not only to be a better musician, [but] a good person and upstanding person.”

The unexpected turn in his life was his path toward teaching, influenced by the profound effect teachers had on his life. The teachers he had helped him become who he is and what he stands for today.  Johnson wanted to have the same effect on others lives, especially spreading the message of equality.

“Me being a minority as well as gay. Makes me try to teach my students to respect one another regardless of who they are, how they want to be, or what they identify as. Everyone needs to have a mutual respect,” Johnson said. “To me nothing is more important than mutual respect.”

“He vibes with everyone, making sure he has good relationships with all the students and all the staff. This is having a very positive effect on our entire band program.” Junior Samaya Trawick said.

“He’s very enthusiastic about everything does,” Sandra Swat, junior, said. “That makes everyone excited about band.” 

My tattoo, that is an equal sign and is a reminder of not only my personal life where I am a minority in different fronts, but also how I treat other people and how I look at other people regardless of their status.””

— Johnson

Johnson in his message of equality, with a simple tattoo on his wrist. The tattoo is a dark equal sign taking up most the bottom of his wrist standing for equality, to show the world just how deep this personally affects him. He said he wants to set an example for all of his students to be kind and care for one another.

Although teaching band is a big part of his life, he wanted to point out the fact that there is definitely more to life than band. He said being well rounded is being a better person. When you get to experience all life has to offer, you gain more respect for the people around you.

“I encourage my students to do other things,” Johnson said. “There is so much more to life than band, so I think it is important for kids to do other things.”